An incredible inspiration to us, Jaz has created a moody, warm, stylish and oh-so 70s world with her brand, Harley & J. A beautiful accompaniment to Nine Lives' aesthetic, we are forever lusting over Jaz's designs and reposting her amazing images. We can't wait for the day we finally get to collaborate and make some magic with her! We travelled down to her Mullumbimby home in northern NSW to meet the gorgeous woman in the flesh and find out what makes her tick
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Jasmin but I much prefer Jaz. I'm a 29-year-old Graphic designer who grew up on the central coast. I had a 10 year stint in Surry Hills and I now reside in Byron Bay.
Growing up, was there anyone who influenced your creativity?
My mother. She is a beautiful painter and was a textile designer for over 30 years. Mine and my sister's bedroom were covered in her hand painted magical fairies, mermaids and wood nymphs. Everywhere you look there were these magical drawings scattered throughout my entire childhood. Mum really encouraged and nurtured my sisters and my creative side from day dot - and I always remember drawing, painting and doing crafts with her. You can see her influence in my work heavily and I love that there is that part of her in me shining through.
When did you start Harley & J and how did it come to life?
My first job out of University was working for a company who had the license for Harley-Davidson in Australia (hence the influence of "Harley" in my business name) I spent four years of drawing metal, motorbikes and flames. Harley & J started out as an outlet for my more feminine creative side. It was something I could do after work and purely for joy. It wasn't until I was about 25 after a breakup that really rattled me deeply to my core that I began to dive deeply into Harley & J. I had a huge amount of sadness and negative energy that I just threw heavily into my work. If you look back at my earlier posts from when I first started you can see the overall vibe is very darker than what it is now. My style has grown along with me and I'm proud of my little slow journey.
Your artwork oozes '60s & '70s vibes ~ have you always been a lover of the psychedelic & golden years?
My parents certainly ignited that first spark! My mum was obsessed with bands like David Bowie and INXS and my dad with Pink Floyd and Neil Young. They were always flogging them since I can remember and still to this day. They have these photos of them as teenagers with their long hair and flares sitting in their panel vans up the coast and I just remember being little and thinking "how cool". That's always my favourite family photo album to visit and I still love going through them now.
How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in future?
It's constantly growing and evolving. The main part of my job (like anything else in life) is practise, practise, practise. I laugh/cringe at some of my earlier designs and drawings but without those designs I wouldn't be where I am now.
What inspires you to create the types of works you do?
I'm inspired mostly by a combination of things I see and feel (like most artists I guess) I'm inspired by photos and nature. Sometimes I see something and I can instantly envision the way I want it to look.
Have you ever created a print, and decided you want to keep it for yourself and never expose it to the public?
Never! One of my favourite parts of being an artist is sharing it. Not from the ego perspective side but for the joy or message it can bring someone else. I often get messages on Instagram with very thoughtful kind words that really touch me and fuel the fire of the love for my job.
Do you have a fave music playlist while you immerse yourself into your designs?
Not at all, it all varies day to day with my mood. Sometimes it's music, sometimes a podcast and sometimes nothing.
What would be your advice to someone who is wanting to become a Graphic Designer and Illustrator like yourself?
Put yourself out there. Hit up that brand/band/company you love and ask to work for them. If you're just starting out do it for free, build your portfolio and experience. The worst they can say is no. I contacted numerous companies to do work for them for free at the beginning of Harley and J, it wasn't long before the tables turned and people began contacting me. You get what you give so you gotta get giving at the start.
Talk us through the perfect day...
A morning surf with my sisters, dad and boyfriend, late brekky on the beach, surf again and long afternoon nap then outside drinking Bloody Marys with my besties.
Who is your ultimate fashion muse?
Jimi Page, he's my king forever.
What’s in store for the future of Harley & J?
I have no idea but I hope its as great as the last few years.